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tv   After Words President Jimmy Carter White House Diary Doug Brinkley host  CSPAN  July 25, 2020 8:01pm-9:03pm EDT

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>> and he has also written a children's book illustrated by his daughter amy. in 2010 president carter appeared on the tv afterwards where he discussed his white house diary that he kept while in office 1977 through 1981. here is president carter being interviewed by presidential historian doug brinkley. >>. >> welcome to washington dc mr. president. it's wonderful to see you. when you fly in here and go over the monuments in the potoma potomac, what do you think when you fly into this town?
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>> the white house is still there. i think about the wonderful times we had. and 40 miles a week which is a lot. thinking about the good times that we had and how thankful i am now to have the superb bipartisan support existed in the seventies. >> is there republican in the congress or senate that you enjoyed working with that you became friends with? >> howard baker from tennessee was a minority leader and was
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a great personal friend of mine i got wonderful cooperation from the republican side and a minority leader the house of representatives also a great supporter of mine so during the last couple of years i was in the white house so they took away a lot of very liberal democrats with a moderate and conservative democrats and republicans. >> what about sam nunn? >> that is very important. he was a young senator then and was my floor leader on some of the key issues applied
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to nuclear power. he was very knowledgeable about it and working his way up to be chairman later on of the defense committee in the senate but besides being a friend in the legislature working very closely with me both made it very difficult which is the most courageous what i believe they have ever cast 20 senators voted for the panama canal they run for reelection that year and then only seven of them came back into the senators that voted with me but herman was later
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defeated in the next election one of the reasons was because he voted for the panama canal treaty it was very unpopular at the time. >>host: walter mondale had to be the deciding vote. >> it required a two thirds vote we had to get 67 that is what took so long with a large number of republicans to vote for it in spite of the fact that at that time ronald reagan was making a crusade against the panama canal treaty. >> why do you feel reagan and john wayne and those conservative leaders were so vehemently opposed? >> one reason he disliked reagan very much. john wayne dead and also he
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had been to panama several times and he knew the leader. so john wayne knew me quite early he would be in favor of the treaty and wrote a letter accordingly which i used with maximum advantage with the opposition against ronald reaga reagan. >>host: did you talk to talmage that it burned him out? do you feel you pushed the canal issue to quickly? >> during the early stages of dwight eisenhower's term. with the unfair treaty back in the early 19 hundreds and when johnson was in office they had
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a big altercation and a group of people were killed. and they wrote diplomatic relations with the united states and they organize the third world powers because the panama canal treaty was signed in the middle of the night i think john haywood was secretary of state and they never saw the treaty was negotiated by a frenchman who had been to panama in 18 years but it was a treaty from the very beginning. >> you went back to panama as the ex-president to call
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noriega out as a fraudulent election. do you feel the fact you are the architect gave you a credibility in the last of central america and latin america? >> no doubt. as a left office one of the very first important elections was in panama and noriega was the head of the military and natural car on - - national guard was a cook and tried to steal the election and stuff the ballot box. i knew it was stuff and then announced the whole election was fraudulent. when they tried to qualify the national guardsmen on noriega's orders but they never took office.
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and eventually of course he was arrested and put in prison for a long time. and then that was an honest and fair election in this hemispher hemisphere. >> you think noriega should still be in prison? >> he served his time. he was there for 40 years. but he has been rearrested because some abuses he perpetrated against the citizens of france. he was extradited to france to be tried on another crime after he was finally serving his term. >>host: has he reached out in any way? >> no. he's not my friend. [laughter] but he was one that at that
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time we were innovators. now we just finished our 81st election this month in new guinea. so we have done major elections in the palestinian area when they changed into those democracies. and then i have to give noriega credit. [laughter] because i had to denounce him as a kirk. [laughter] >>host: tell me talking about the white house you are jogging and in the white house diaries and on the campaign trail going to texas you say
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you're going on a jog and then when you are inaugurated you do the famous walk. what was the idea of walking come about? >> one of the senators was talking about physical fitness and suggested walking would be a symbolic gesture and at the time i could see there was a great deal of distrust and animosity between the people of america and the government of washington just like this past election with the tea party with a lot of disillusionment with washington. so we discussed it and decided we would walk just to show we trusted the american people. back in those days we had just experienced of the disgrace of watergate and vietnam.
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not too long before that kennedys were assassinated and martin luther king junior. so what the caa had perpetrated crimes against elected leaders for those who did not approve of the politics so it caused americans to doubt the government and the confidence of the government i wanted to walk down pennsylvania avenue to show i was one of them and they could have trusted me is to make use to mention douglas he's to do walks around the canal. did you ever thank you would run around dc your was that too hard with secret service? >> sometimes i would jog in other areas. for instance we laid out a
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7-mile jogging area inside the white house grounds several laps through the rose garden and that sort of thing and then on the weekends we would jog at camp david but the canal was the best place. and then became a national park sponsored by douglas. it is 108 miles from downtown washington all the way to west virginia. and the canal in the potomac region was very important that there was a 12-foot wide path to pull the barges down the canal.
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>>host: of all aspects of your presidency that will be treated well is jimmy carter as a conservationist to create the department of energy but also solar panels on the white house. with that part were you upset that reagan took them down? >> i was. there is a difference of philosophy between american - - between me and reagan i thought we are showing our excessive dependence on foreign oil so as i worked to get that package passed and i did before i went out of office in fact when i was inaugurated we were importing eight.6 million barrels of oil
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per day and within five years because of my energy policy we reduce that by half. and then he said america doesn't have to conserve. we can use as much as we want to we are the city on the hill. 's and so we will do away with these foolish things that president carter imposed on the american people as constraints. i put the solar panels on the white house. there were 36 to provide hot water but also it was symbolic to the people and as soon as reagan was in office he removed the solar panels and said it's a waste of money and a waste of time. i believe a small college in maine purchased those 36 panels and they started a crusade about one year ago
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finally convinced obama to put solar panels back on the white house. then this year i was in china now the largest producer is in china they bought one of the panels that used to be on the white house. so when i was over there they should be the panel. >>host: do you still like the idea of solar are you studying wind power? >> what we used to call alternate sources of energy not oil primarily that but to reduce the dependence on foreign sources is the major focus of my goal. so we put into law we required motors and refrigerators and stoves to be made highly efficient and a stamp put on
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every one with a degree of efficiency so not to waste energy we passed laws requiring houses to be insulated for the first time. and we also imposed very severe constraints on automobile efficiency but unfortunately we left a loophole in that so the president could back out of it and then of course when he came into office he backed out. so when obama came the efficiency of automobiles was down almost as low as when i went into office so there are things you never dreamed the president would do with reagan and his successors did to waste energy but the laws are still on the books. >> do you worry the industrial military complex in the
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eisenhower farewell speech? what do you do to control the industry better why do they have so much power? what can americans do. >> the oil industry and others extremely rich, unbelievably rich and influencing congress. and national elections were president. they put as much money as they could into campaigns. this includes us like the energ energy. one of the most stupid things the supreme court had ever done was last january and took off all limits on corporations to make contributions to political campaigns and then remove the requirement so now
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even in this election in 2002 there's been a massive influx of money from corporations without the donors to be identified so that is what has happened with the election and it changes the whole character of american politics. for instance when i was running up against gerald ford and four years later against reagan, we never dreamed of using a negative commercial we looked at each other as a distinguished opponent. the reason for the escalation and now the universal use of negative advertising is because of the enormous influx of money.
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and then they spent a lot of that to destroy the reputation of their opponent and it happens on both sides. not just republicans democrats do it to. although the american people disagree it continues. by the time the election is over one of the candidate prevail prevails, but both sides have convince the public that neither candidate was worthy of holding office. by the time they get to washington and they still carry that highly bipartisan animosity. that do not prevail at all when reagan was first elected they had a wonderful bipartisan support now there is no such thing congress is much more polarized even in
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the months preceding because as you know i'm on some major programs that president obama put forward heating get one single republican vote in the house or senate so republicans have acted almost completely irresponsibly during the first few months of president obama's term. after this election may will have some responsibility because now they control the house this will be an improvement over what it has been up until now. >>host: what about the start treaty? >> it's wonderful treaty is good for europe, the united states come it starts a downward trend of the excessive arsenals of nuclear weapons. in an ordinary time when i was in office or even with george
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w. bush it would have been approved by the majority of us senators. but with this boycott you could say republicans are against obama and they are preventing him from being reelected in 2012. he will be lucky to get enough republican votes to put him ove over. >>host: what should president obama do at this point? use executive power or somehow find a way to work with congress? if you were congress in this climate what card will aid you play? >> what he is likely to do in the next two years to be much more resolved and determined to stick with what he wants to get done and to stop trying to
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induce very few republicans to support his position. he will not permit and extension of the tax breaks for people that are very rich. i think he ought to do that and when he said he's going to do and then with the extension of the bush tax reductions to those who make less than $250,000 per year. and then one vote only and not permit any possibility of extending the reductions for the very rich. if he does things like that he could have success but only when he used it very well known technique that george w. bush had used like
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reconciliation but that plays tough now democrats say they will do better in 2012 speaking as a democrat if he hangs tough and i think he will. >> back to conservation by december 1980 you had a remarkable land conservation act over 50 million acres it will be legacy as the world gets more populated your name and conservation will be on that short list with lyndon johnson and fdr. what happened? how are you able to succeed so wildly so high in the conservation field? >> first of all it took me almost four years to do it. i memorized enough of alaska. halfway through i saw we were not going to get support from
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the two alaskans senators. so my associate came up with the idea of using a bill from the early 19 hundreds, 19 oh seven, designed to save monuments. and thinks those for the future should be preserved he gave the president almost unilateral right to do so. so we set legislation on large areas of land designated as national monuments is nothing that congress could do to override my decisions than what we set aside is national monuments in alaska and other
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places was as large as the state of michigan. >>host: did you actually have a map of alaska? >> absolutely. in the house the very famous house member who was my partner and others in the senate but we would sit around the table with maps and say this is precious so i would set it aside to say that and then set it aside permanently as a national monument. although the original bill reflected a specific area but we use that is areas are precious land and it was that leverage that i used from the congressman from alaska and also the alaska lands bill and
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then it prevaile prevailed. when i was defeated in the it election and 80 that's when it passed. we set another area aside almost as large as the state of california. we doubled the size of the national park service and triple the size of the wilderness areas in america with that one bill. all the very unpopular than in alaska because senators convince them i was taking away land now it's one the most popular things i did even with the alaskan people because they see how much it meant to them. >>host: what about the drill baby drill and and more refuge? do you think that should ever be allowed to have oil? >> never. >>host: have you been there? >> absolutely.
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>>host: why do you say never if people say it's empty tundra with nothing there? >> this is a 140,000 animals when they cs they would split and go by there was a wolf then that had 30 walls and and just off the coast of northern alaska where we observed a group of muskrats and then when deserved they formed a circle to protect the females and the cavs and then we go fishing in alaska quite often, flyfishing so i have become quite familiar with alaskan the state parks up
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there. there is a tremendous pressure from the oil companies to bribe members of congress to save anwr this beautiful area up there and to make it available for exploration from oil. this was set aside by president eisenhower in the 19 fifties. i just preserved what he pushed aside and that's what alaska became a state. when i left office the only way you could do that if the president both houses of congress voted to let oil exploration be done in anwr i never dreamed we would have a president that would do so by president reagan and h.w. bush and president george w. bush
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tried and sometimes came within two or three votes to get that required legislative support. i hope that never happens. over time i think more americans are realizing we need to preserve the special area. >>host: what about offshore drilling? shall wants to drill offshore. >> i don't think so. that's for the islands are in the musk ox are up in that region. when we passed the alaska lands bill in late 1980 we opened 95 percent of all coastal areas for oil drilling this 5 percent is a special area where they are prohibited for oil drilling. i think 5 percent is not too much to save because it is just like god made it.
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>>host: why do you feel sarah palin is part of her discourse? is at her personality or have you ever met her or have any views what she is contributing? >> i've never met her but obviously i've watched television i think she's one of the most dynamic and attractive speakers we have ever seen. she knows how to appeal to a crowd, she's extremely eloquent, she has a very clear-cut political philosophy that she expresses and them appeals highly to a group of supporters but within the republican party and the tea party element, she will be a formidable candidate if she decides to run in 2012. i would not be surprised if she gets the republican nomination. however even within the republican party, the majority
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of republicans don't think she's qualified to be president. but she does have the capability as the extreme outsider, maybe to get the nomination. >>host: any connection to yourself? she's a governor, you are a governor, and the odds seemed very odd and came out of nowher nowhere. iowa and new hampshire in the peanut brigade. obviously coming from the democratic side, do you see any connection with what she's trying to do? >> not really. i finished my term as governor. [laughter] >>host: reagan never quit you never quit will that hurt her? >> i think a large group of supporters don't hold that against her. she has proven that.
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i don't see any parallel. but i do see a parallel between the times when i went for president in 76 in this past year with the tea party movement because this group of well-meaning people in my opinion who are completely dissatisfied with what's happening in washington and i had the same kind of benefit against wonderful group of other candidates who are my opponents most us senators and very distinguished. and i could present the bill primarily because i kept eyes on the satisfaction is the driving force from the tea party. >>host: looking toward the iranian hostage crisis eventually they all came home do you ever hear from them? >> yes. quite often when i go on a book tour normally one or two will send word ahead of time
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they want to meet me behind the scenes. i obviously give them a free book and shake cans and give autographs. they are doing quite well. not as much as it used to be when i left office but a good many of them would drive and let me know in advance they wanted to spend a few minutes with me that they could come home safe and free. i have a good relationship with all of them. >>host: it was so part of your administration the white house diaries and then to talk about there's two white houses the carter white house and then the hostage crisis white house. in retrospect is there something you would have done different like an extra helicopter on the rescue mission but would you have
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wish to do something differently? >> not really. but i don't think so under the circumstances because my top management team coming through with treatment of terminal cancer and kissinger and all my advisors said let him come. so i contacted the president and prime minister of iran and told them i was contemplating coming - - letting the shock and for treatment and i wanted assurances they would protect and at that time there were 8000 americans in iran working in different forces including
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the embassy. they sent me where they would guarantee nothing would happen to americans if the shock came to new york provided there is no political statement while he was in america. and he gave me that assurance. but then, to the surprise of me and to the president of iran, iran, the militants took over and when the ayatollah after three days supported the capture and the holding of the hostages and the president and prime minister resigned in protest. this was the beginning of a long ordeal holding hostages
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so i don't believe i would have done anything different the main advice i got was to bomb iran. but i was convinced then and still and that if i had done so i would kill 10000 innocent iranians and then immediately what they would've executed them so i'm glad i held out. >>host: does your religion and love of christ ever come in to make big decisions? that is a very profound thing to think you could take out 10000 people's lives. does that inform your judgment? >> i think so. i worship jesus christ as a prince of peace. so i look at president to defend our integrity to
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preserve the peace. we went four years of extreme tension at times, political confrontations. we never dropped a bomb in four years, we never fired a bullet or a missile. and we protected our own integrity and security and not only brought peace between us and potential adversaries but also others around the world. one of the things i wanted to do was to start the process of eliminating south africa and to lay the groundwork later for progress to end apartheid in south africa. in fact my daughter amy was arrested three times are demonstrating against them in
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south africa. so china for the first time in 35 years normalized relations and resolved a potential conflict with panama and bought peace in egypt that's a plan to do. >>host: as you have broken the mold as an ex-president and very much an individual marching to the beat of your own drum can you ever imagine being arrested like your daughter was? and somebody was going to drill in the arctic refuge. could you go to a protest and be arrested? or do you draw a line for that? >> i would say if an issue came up that i felt was a moral conflict with me, if it happened, i would be arrested.
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maybe just as pro forma and publicity maybe our brain publicity to the act i might do it. but amy felt very deeply on her own. we didn't have to inspire her to protest against apartheid. she felt very deeply like i did that it was wrong. >>host: in your diary there is a section about you reading the bible at night in spanish and also getting your hair cut with a puerto rican barber and practice spanish. is that because you believed bilingual is important? >> i was a young person at the naval academy studied spanish. and when we were asked to go
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on vacation we go to a spanish-speaking country which ultimately is spain. in fact last night i read part of the bible in spanish while rosa listened and then the other part she would read a portion in spanish. it's just a practice in between times. she has an ipod she has spanish lessons and she still practicing. it is a great advantage and it turns out spanish-speaking also 85 hispanics who live that don't speak english so we can help to interpret those on occasion. it is wonderful second language in the second language is very important.
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>>host: do you write your own letters? >> yes. i never have dictated a letter in my life. i have never dictated any of my books. this is my 26. i do all the writing myself. >>host: why is that? because you want to have the control? >>host: you keep it personal. >> it goes back to my childhood in high school in eighth grade i took typing and i took great shorthand so the project jesus took all my college notes in shorthand i'm not bragging about it there's nothing wrong with it but i have to say when i was in the white house a lot of people like secretary of state would write a letter to a foreign leader then later it would be
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signed so i didn't handwrite everything from the very beginning that when i wanted sadat to come to camp david i hand wrote a letter to both and had them delivered from me maybe that's one of the reasons they both accepted the invitation. >>host: have you handwritten letters to people around the world like political prisoners asking for them to release do you keep an eye on that like amnesty international? >> of course. with a strong human rights program i have the staff and the executor and they sent a letter to the most egregious human rights. quite often they would prepare a draft letter for those who
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is abusing people in his or her country. that i will send them a personal letter. we will check the legality of what i'm doing so don't put something foolish but then i send a letter and say i have heard to the people and i named them that are in prison without a proper trial they need to be released i know then nations constitution. i would like to have a report from you on a personal basis about what we can do to alleviate the suffering and i would just hope this matter doesn't have to go further to the public news realm. it surprising how many times the dictator will send me a
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letter and say i have looked into this and they have been released from prison. we still do that. we have an annual meeting at the carter center calling it the human rights defenders. people of about 40 nations and countries where human rights abuses take place in their country and there are heroes in their own country fighting against human rights abuses. sometimes the dictators will let them out of the country or give them a visa. but we meet with them and discuss their problems and then seven or eight to are the most eloquent sitting around the table with me and cnn will ask questions about these human rights abuses. with that same group to travel to washington without me and then meet with the human rights leaders and administration. we do that every year.
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>> we followed you to haiti one year you have the second-longest military career after eisenhower in the 20th century. you are very punctual that when i got to a village where most of the people had hiv , that whole tough jimmy carter side melted into an incredibly emotional way you were touching people and hugging the children. you seem to feel the suffering of people like the leprosy. is it hard to have that much compassion but yet keep a hardshell just to get things done? >> i find it difficult. the accolades are nice but
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that was organized and it has a commitment to eradicating the most terrible diseases on earth. the who calls them neglected diseases because they no longer exist in the rich world. there are hundreds of millions of people primarily in africa but sometimes others that is what we dedicated at the carter center to do to control or reduce or eradicate those neglected diseases. so we go to latin america or africa to deal with those kinds of diseases. and these diseases can be
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eliminated. we have proven that and we also filled with the later disease malaria which everybody knows about what it is no longer here. so when ethiopia the carter center have two remarkable new insecticides to put them in every home to kill mosquitoes. but in the nets and ethiopia raise 70 million we raised 3 million and we put them in home so that's the kind of thing we do around the world. maybe it's a professional commitment of the carter center to help people.
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>>host: as a younger man talking about harry truman but now had this point in your life thinking about what you know and people in the white house, is there a president you draw inspiration naïve read more biographies and thought about american history more is there a president i can truly respect? >> i mass that still that question. i am not saying lincoln and others i'm just saying in my lifetime but truman affected me personally. i was a midshipman in annapolis and i cried when i realized this unknown vice president would now be make commander-in-chief. later as a marine officer in
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truman in 1848 decided to do away with racial segregation in military forces in the army navy marines air force and coast guard it was an extremely popular thing for him to do and congress warned him do not do it. i was a the majority say don't do it but he did it anyway. that affected my life greatly. and eight years later that rosa parks sat on the bus and mlk became famous so for them to pioneer in this country with 100 years of racial segregation. that changed my life. i always felt he was honest and courageous and very intelligent. >>host: do you identify with the korean war at all?
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>> i was a submarine officer in the latter part. i was in the pacific when the korean war started. up through 1950 then transferred back to the east coast. yes. not personally involved in korea come in fact i just came back from north korea. >>host: in the white house diaries you write about visiting korea and you had a huge crowd there like 1 million or more people. why do you have that kind of crowd and south korea? [laughter] that is extraordinary son estimates of 2 million people you think it's closer to 1 million in the book. tell me about what you have learned when you make a steady a place like alaska or the middle east korea has been a big part of your life.
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what is going on there now and today would you be willing to go to north korea today or tonight to negotiate a settlement after the recent back-and-forth? >> i hate to say this but 16 years ago we looked at the possibility of a korean war he is a combination of gigi on - - jesus christ and george washington for north koreans. i'm not exaggerating. so he decided he would expel the international atomic energy inspectors and start expressing the fuel rods firm the atomic reactors to produce electricity. the united states started to impose much more severe
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sanctions since the fifties when a career was over. so if that happened he said he would attack south korea and then and now they would destroy but then with clinton i went to negotiate to put that into the official agreement. and later to stop the process but when president bush came into office president bush
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said he was the axis of evil to make a long story short and then they start with the nuclear fuel rods now they have 67 capable nuclear explosives. so back in july north koreans asked me to come over again they wanted to deliver a message to the us government to negotiate and that's what i have done. and if obama asked me to go over as a private citizen. >>host: is not a point of contention? would you go simply because he
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believed you could stop? >> but only if i got permission of the from the white house. i've never went into a troubled area so i get prior approval from the white house. sometimes it's a the president was not enthusiastic about me going but that was my commitment but i don't go unless i get permission. but this last time i got permission but they made it clear i was going to represent the carter summit and not the white house. had nothing to do with the trip i went on a private plane and when i got back i made a full report to secretary of state clinton. >>host: the axis of evil speech? >> i think so at that time north korea and the united states had very good relations relatively speaking.
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and then to be on to pyongyang to visit. and president clinton decided to go to north korea december 2000. so that was is a situation of the accommodation but if he made his speech to classify north korea with the axis of evil that was a signal the bush administration was abandoning. >> and the china administration the first person to recognize the people's republic of chin
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china, not nixon. people get that mixed up. are you treated as a special person do they greatly respect you? >> i am. >>host: do you have any plans to work on us china relations? >> no. i work on carter center china relations. and then part of the communist party the system. and then to have honest fair open and free elections. every in the villages everybody automatically registered to vote.
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and the secret ballot and completely a democratic process. and the provincial people every five years. so in that process involves the carter center to bring democracy. >> i could go on for hours but and in the department of energy the long time concerned getting off of fossil fuels it seems to be global warming for a while is there a concern?
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>> and then they began to suffer. and those that live on dry land and then they have to leave their homes and then they abandoned those villages along the coast to be inundated. so i am very much concerned about it. and it will be the first major country suffering from global warming because they got freshwater supplies for people to drink now the glaciers are
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melting and they are part of the first major country to have a direct adverse effect. i am deeply worried about it. hopefully that is something president obama will be warming up to the global warming issue. . . . . those are lessons. it teaches sunday school in my church every sunday. about 35 to 40 times a year.
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all of them are recorded. and the biggest religious book published in the world . and signed a contract . so they could an editor today 365 of my recorded sunday school messages. that would be my next book will be out in full of 2011. >> look forward to it merry christmas to you mr. president. >> and that was jimmy carter on 2010 and book tv's program. president carter has appeared as an author on book tv several times pretty confining on her website at and watching the kitty on
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"c-span2". it is television for serious readers and tonight with open up our archives to look at programs my former presidents . up next, isolate george hw bush. he wrote three books including a memoir of his time as vice president and he also co-authored a book with his national security advisor, about foreign policy. from 1999, here is the former president talking about his collection of personal letters and diary entries during his tenure as america's 41st president. >> one of the major person on a bookstore as you get to see advance copies of an of a parade i was privileged to read this book, all about a few weeks ago pretty this recounting of president bush's life through letters, memos and diary entries over the past six decades. nowadays most politicians at


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